Aging vs. Adulting

do-not-regret-growing-older

I’m very quickly approaching my mid-30s. Like rapidly. Lightening-quick, fast approaching them. Like where-the-fuck-did-the-time-go coming up on them. As in, I feel like I just hit my mid-20s and OMG what have I done with my life? My 33rd birthday is literally around the corner.

And I’m oddly calm about it. Kind of.

I feel like I just celebrated my 25th — because for the longest time I was perpetually 25. And I promise it wasn’t some female logic that I was forever going to celebrate my 25th birthday. No, it really was that every time someone asked me my age till I was about 29 that the first thing to pop out of my mouth was, “I’m 25!” Those who knew me would give me odd, WTF looks or call me out on it immediately, then mock me for not wanting to age.

That wasn’t it at all.

I have no issue with aging, truly I don’t. It’s not getting older that freaks me out, it’s what comes with the number that scares the shit out of me. Completely terrifies me, actually. Age is honestly just an arbitrary number, and you can either let it define and control you or you can embrace how you feel as a person, as a soul.

A few days ago, my family lost someone. Someone we all loved a great deal. Someone who, according to the numbered age on his license, was still young, was still in his prime, still had so many years to go. His death was sudden. It was unexpected. It rocked us all. Shock is an understatement.

And it made me realize how fucking useless age as a number is.

Ricky lived in the moment. He didn’t live as an about-to-turn-62-year-old is “supposed” to. The morning of the day he passed away, he ran 12km. He had recently kick-started his health, started taking better care of himself. He often attended concerts, art festivals, cultural gatherings. If you looked through his 5,000-odd Facebook friends you’d see ages ranging from early 20s right up to, well, I’m not even sure. But the age range is there. And they all loved him. All connected with him. All have amazing stories to tell about how Rick touched their lives.

Age is a number. Whether Ricky had been 32, 42 or the 62 he was meant to be, he still would have been “too young” to leave us when he did. His spirit, his passion, and the way he lived his life makes his death so incredibly sad and horrible and makes us use the phrase, “He was so young.”

How do you want to live your life? Passionately? Without regrets? With a smile on your face and a happy heart? With confidence and strength and compassion?

I dunno about you, but that’s how I want to live.

How you live your life is so important. It’s taken me long enough to realize this, and as I’m about to enter my 33rd year, never has it been made more clear than in the wake of Ricky’s passing.

I always joke about not being able to adult properly. Paying bills, keeping my house clean, being responsible in general (as in taking out the recycling more than once every 3 months and actually owning a plunger), it’s all a challenge to me. Is it because I’m not mature enough? Because I’m not old enough? Do these skills magically kick in when I turn 33? 35? Or maybe not till 43? I doubt it.

No, that’s not it at all.

Instead of chastising myself for not washing my floors every few weeks or for eating pita and dip over the sink for dinner after Owen’s gone to bed instead of all the major food groups or for leaving my laundry till I’ve got three or four massive basket loads full, I should celebrate my lack of adulting.

I have perspective.

Instead of spending the day washing my floors and cooking a three course dinner my child and I very likely wouldn’t even have eaten, we spent the day with family, then the evening in the park running through sand, chasing each other up and down hills and swinging on swing-sets while we sang Mary Poppin’s tunes.

What’s more important; laundry or spending time with my son? What am I more passionate about?

Now, I’m not at all criticizing or chastising the parent/mother/father/caregiver who spends a great deal of time doing all those adult things during the day, putting those things first so they have a clean and tidy home. Not at all! In fact, I applaud those people and are slightly envious.

Adulting is hard. It’s about priorities and perspective, and passion.

This past weekend put a lot of things into perspective for me. It taught me that life is fucking short, so fucking short. No matter what numbered age you get to, it’s never going to be enough.

Not to sound extreme, but none of us have time to waste. Want that job? Apply for it. Always wanted to travel? Find a way to do it and get to that destination you’ve always dreamt of. Have feelings for someone, love them even? Tell them. Failure is part of the experience. It helps you grow. Makes you stronger. Makes you more driven for the next attempt.

I don’t want to be that person the survivors talk about in terms of, “Oh, she always wanted to do that, too bad she never got the chance.” Or “Aw, she was so looking forward to maybe one day experiencing that… guess that won’t happen now.”

Over the past few years, I’ve pretty much grabbed life by the balls and really lived life the way I want to, the way I need to. I’m much more confident in myself, my needs, my wants and my desires. And most of those centre around my son and keeping him happy, but they also have to do with my career and more recently my love life. We all deserve happiness. We all deserve to live passionately and do the things we’ve dreamt about.

Even if that means putting adulting on hold for a bit.

As I start another year of aging in a few days, I’m not so sure my adulting skills will improve, but I know for damn sure I’m changing my perspective, my priorities, and I am going to do my very best to live every moment to its fullest.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on September 25, 2016.

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